Accounting – Career, Courses, Entrance Exams, Job Profile

Last Modified on : 24 Feb 2024

Accounting is one of those fields which has always been in demand and should continue to grow all across the country. The field of accounting is vast which opens plenty of job opportunities for the aspirants. Careers in Accounting vary from entry-level positions to executive and managerial level pots. Most of the accounting career paths begin in college from where students earn a bachelor’s degree. While a bachelor’s degree in accounting or related field is considered the minimum education requirement for those who wish to pursue courses such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA), there are some states which ask for advanced course study than just a bachelor’s degree in subjects such as taxes, financial reporting, auditing, and other non-accounting business areas. In order to meet such criteria, students can pursue diploma courses, bachelor’s level, master’s level, and doctorate level education in accounting.

While most of the Diploma courses in Accounting & Finance are of 1-year duration, Bachelor’s courses and Master’s courses are of 3 years and 2 years respectively.

Courses Offered in Accounting

Cost and Management Accounting (CMA) Course

Cost and Management Accounting course has gained a lot of popularity among the commerce students who wish to pursue a career in cost and management accounting. For those who are not aware, Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India (ICWAI) has changed its name to the Institute of Cost Management Accountants of India (ICMAI). So, students shouldn’t get confused between various terms such as CMA, ICMAI, CWA, and ICWAI. CMA is just the updated name for ICWA.

CMA course comprises of three stages which are:

  • CMA Foundation
  • CMA Intermediate
  • CMA Final

Students looking to become Cost Management Accountant, they will need to complete these three stages of CMA course. 10+2 passed students are considered eligible for the CMA Foundation exam which is conducted two times a year. After clearing the CMA Foundation exam, one can go for the CMA intermediate. A student with a graduate degree is exempted from CMA Foundation exams. He/she can directly enter into CMA Intermediate. After clearing the Intermediate course, a candidate can take admission to CMA Final course.

Chartered Accountant (CA) Course

Chartered Accountant (CA) is one of the most challenging and respectful career fields. A chartered accountant works as a private advisor or in the accounts department of an organization. A CA plays a crucial role in the case of financial disputes, bankruptcy, etc. If a candidate completes this course, he/she can go for job profiles such as auditing, cost accounting, management accounting, tax management, consultancy and financial works in the industry.

The duration of the CA course is 5 years which includes three levels of this course:

  • CPT (Common Proficiency Test): Common Proficiency Test is an entry-level foundation course which includes Accounting, General Economics, Quantitative Aptitude Test, and Mercantile Laws.
  • IPCC (Integrated Professional Competence Course): IPCC comprises two groups. It encompasses the working knowledge of the core subjects. This course is particularly designed to enhance the knowledge accounting standards.
  • FC (Final Course): The final course includes advanced knowledge of financial reporting, strategic financial management, management accounting, professional ethics, information systems control, and advanced auditing.

A 10+2 passed student can go for the Foundation level test conducted by ICAI. After clearing the group 1st, students need to go through the on-job training period of 3 years which is called “articleship” with accounts or audit firm. Once the students complete their articleship, they can appear for the Final course.

A student with Commerce, Science, arts background can seek admission in Chartered Accountancy course. Also, a candidate must have computer knowledge as all the account work is done using the computer only. Although students are allowed to register for the Common Proficiency Test after passing their 10th class examination, they are supposed to appear for the exam only after passing their 12th class.